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$2000-$3000 Workstation for 3D Anatomical CAD modeling and analysis.

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May 30, 2012 1:40:57 AM

Hi guys. I'm a Bio Med researcher at UCLA in the Biology 3D imaging labs. We're currently ramping up our computing power for the summer and fall seasons with new NSF grant $$$ and with GE's donations of new CAD scanning equipment and CT scanners. The project will use the CAD scanners to model full 3D images of skulls and tooth structure, as well as cranial and neurological patterning, and software to model and analyze the scans into manageable data that can be tested to prove a hypothesis for numerous graduate studies.

We need a workstation (or two) capable of smoothly running a program called Mimics and 3matic, both of which allow analysis and editing of the data created by the scanning tools.

Mimics has the following req's
http://biomedical.materialise.com/mimics
any multicore processor
2 GB RAM - for large datasets (> 1 GB) we recommend 8 GB RAM
ATI RADEON or NVIDIA GeForce card with 512 MB RAM
10 GB free hard disk space
Resolution of 1680x1050 or higher
Directx 10.0

and 3matic is just as intensive.

We're planning on running it a LOT harder than this and on a 30" monitor so a good GPU will probably be needed.
I was wondering if someone could cobble together a good multicore system. Perhaps the new Ivy Bridge i7 (quad 3820 or six core 3920) build that can handle the graphics load and be smooth. 16GB of RAM is ideal, more if possible.

I need recommendations on a CPU, motherboard, GPU, RAM and the PSU to go with them all. Have not decided on whether to go with an HDD or SSD and I don't think it matters.
Was looking at the Ivy Bridge 3820 and 3930 and was wondering which might be better (or if 6 cores would be overkill).

If possible, I would like to use a microATX form factor enclosure (was thinking Silverstones FT03) to minimize desk footprint as we need a big monitor, keyboard, mouse, and a large WACOM tablet on the same deskspace to analyze each project adequately, but if not any standard ATX motherboard will do I suppose.

Budget is about $2-3k USD per PC. Windows 7, since compatibility issues btwn the scanning tools and programs necessitate it. I have experience with building PC's and will assemble and hopefully get this thing to post, but have never built anything this high end (I built a few ~$1000 gaming systems before) and would love opinions.
May 30, 2012 2:46:58 AM

wow this is very professional. would you need compute cards such as nividia quadro?

anyways i put one together and take some considerations with it

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/97YL


-if you do not need the quadro card, i would recommend getting 2 gtx 670s in SLI

-if you must have micro-atx get this
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/980h

they use about the same parts
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May 30, 2012 3:44:33 AM

I don't think a workstation card is necessary. I was planning on going with a single GTX680 and I'm pretty sure that will be enough. I'll check what the other workstation we have is running and factor that into the MUCH larger monitor we're planning to use.

Thanks for the quick responses though.
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May 30, 2012 10:55:59 AM

no. gtx 670 will be within 5-8% of a 680 for 100 dollars less. if you do not need quadro cards, get 2 670s in SLI
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